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Rare swarming rays and Australian bushfires win top photography prizes

Stunning images of cownose rays and Australia’s runaway bushfires are among the winners of the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition

Life



26 August 2020

The Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition is produced by the South Australian Museum.

Photographers
Mat Beeston, Ben Blanche, Jari Cornelis, Kevin De Vree, Alex Kydd, Tess Poyner

THIS tangled mass of rays was spotted on the Ningaloo Reef, off the coast of Western Australia. Titled A Fever of Cownose Rays, this photo by Alex Kydd may be a rare look at the animals’ courting rituals, in which males try to grasp the fins of females.

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New Scientist Default ImageBorder Fire Mt Barney by Ben Blanche

Ben Blanche

The image won the Animal Behaviour category at the 2020 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition. Other images show other entries in the contest, including its overall winner, Border Fire Mt Barney.

New Scientist Default ImageGraceful and Green by Tess Poyner

Tess Poyner

Taken last November by Ben Blanche, the photo depicts Mount Barney in Queensland during the recent bushfires that devastated more than 180,000 square metres of forest, killing billions of animals.

New Scientist Default ImageEnchanted Forest by Kevin De Vree

Kevin De Vree

Tess Poyner was dubbed the Junior category winner for Graceful and Green, an image showing a dainty green tree frog in Daintree rainforest, Queensland. Jari Cornelis’s Storm Dragon won the Animal Habitat category and it stars a central bearded dragon in the Northern Territory.

New Scientist Default ImageBolt on Stormy Ocean by Mat Beeston

Mat Beetson

In Bolt on Stormy Ocean by Mat Beeston, winner of the Landscape category, water etches a path along this white, sandy creek bed near Broome, Western Australia. Enchanted Forest by Kevin De Vree won the Botanical category, featuring a fungal “stairway” in Lamington National Park, Queensland.

New Scientist Default ImageStorm Dragon by Jari Cornelis

Jari Cornelis

All the finalists are on display at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide until 15 November.

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